Removing a broken key from a lock can be tricky and time-consuming. Fortunately, there are several methods which you can use to extract the key without causing damage to the lock itself. Here are some of the ways you can do it:
Disassemble the Lock
If you have some basic knowledge about locks, then this is probably one of the easiest ways to remove a broken key from a lock cylinder. All you need to do is unscrew the back panel of the lock and take out the cylinder. Once that’s done, gently push out the broken key with a paper clip or other thin rod. Reassemble the cylinder and your lock will be good as new again!
Use a Key Extractor
If taking apart your lock isn’t an option, then using a key extractor could be your best bet. This tool is specifically designed for removing jammed keys from locks. It consists of very thin metal strips with grooves that enable it to grip onto damaged keys. To use it, run it along the cut side of your broken key’s edge – don’t force it in any further – and gently twist until you’re able to pull out your jammed key.
Needle Nose Pliers
If you don’t have access to extractors or if they don’t work for you, then needle nose pliers may just be what saves your day. If there’s just enough of your key sticking out that enables them to grip onto it, then this could work for you as well – tweezers can also be used in place of pliers although their thinner size may make them even more effective in certain cases.
Paper Clip/Small Jigsaw Blade Method
This approach involves using everyday items like paper clips or small jigsaw blades – any tiny rounded object with grooves in it will do – as makeshift spiral/hook extractors in case all else fails (and yes, I mean any tiny rounded object). If there’s enough space in your lock cylinder for these objects to fit into, then they should help pull out whatever part of the broken key is still inside by pushing up on its pins until they reach past its initial cuts and can draw it out with enough friction when pulled back up towards you again.
If nothing of the above is not working for you or attempting any hacking approach means risking further damage, then it’s always best practice to leave such matters up to professionals and take your door lock (with its unfortunate inhabitant) straight over to your local locksmith shop who’ll know how best handle such situations and get your lock and key safely sorted out.